Effect of turbulent flow on an atmospheric-pressure AC powered gliding arc discharge

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A high-power gliding arc (GA) discharge was generated in a turbulent air flow driven by a 35 kHz alternating current electric power supply. The effects of the flow rate on the characteristics of the GA discharge were investigated using combined optical and electrical diagnostics. Phenomenologically, the GA discharge exhibits two types of discharge, i.e., glow type and spark type, depending on the flow rates and input powers. The glow-type discharge, which has peak currents of hundreds of milliamperes, is sustained at low flow rates. The spark-type discharge, which is characterized by a sharp current spike of several amperes with duration of less than 1 μs, occurs more frequently as the flow rate increases. Higher input power can suppress spark-type discharges in moderate turbulence, but this effect becomes weak under high turbulent conditions. Physically, the transition between glow- and spark-type is initiated by the short cutting events and the local re-ignition events. Short cutting events occur owing to the twisting, wrinkling, and stretching of the plasma columns that are governed by the relatively large vortexes in the flow. Local re-ignition events, which are defined as re-ignition along plasma columns, are detected in strong turbulence due to increment of the impedance of the plasma column and consequently the internal electric field strength. It is suggested that the vortexes with length scales smaller than the size of the plasma can penetrate into the plasma column and promote mixing with surroundings to accelerate the energy dissipation. Therefore, the turbulent flow influences the GA discharges by ruling the short cutting events with relatively large vortexes and the local re-ignition events with small vortexes.


External organisations
  • National University of Defense Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Article number223302
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 14
Publication categoryResearch